10 Health Benefits Of Eating Apples During Pregnancy

Is It Safe To Eat Apples During Pregnancy

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“An Apple a day keeps the doctor away,” is a saying that holds good for pregnant women too. Apples, considered one among nature’s power foods, offer several health benefits that cannot be ignored. If you enjoy snacking on an apple once a day or so, read this MomJunction post to know the benefits and risks, if any, of eating apples during pregnancy.

Is It Safe To Eat Apples During Pregnancy?

Yes, apples are safe to eat when you are pregnant (1). They are highly nutritious and rich in antioxidants, phytonutrients, flavonoids, and dietary fiber. However, wash the fruit thoroughly before you eat to eliminate any pesticide residues on them. Also, avoid eating seeds of an apple, because they contain cyanide that is harmful to the body (2).

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What Are The Health Benefits Of Eating Apples During Pregnancy?

Eating apples during pregnancy can help:

1. Prevent anemia

Apples are rich in iron and help boost the hemoglobin level in the blood and prevent anemia (3). The risk of anemia is higher during pregnancy, and if neglected, it could lead to preterm labor and low birth weight in babies.

2. Improve immunity

Apples are a rich source of vitamin C, which on regular intake builds resistance and wards off infections and diseases (4).

3. Prevent free radicals

Flavonoids and phytochemicals are powerful antioxidants in apples that combat free radicals from the body. Free radicals otherwise can lead to oxidative damage of cells, DNA and their functioning ability (5).

4. Boost energy instantly

Simple sugars including glucose, fructose, and sucrose present in apples provide an immediate energy boost. Having an apple handy can be helpful when you feel hungry or have low blood sugar issues (6).

5. Protect your heart

Daily consumption of apples reduces bad cholesterol levels, plaque formation, and inflammation of artery walls (7).

6. Prevent cancer

Regular consumption of apples reduces the risk of lung, colorectal, digestive tract, and breast cancers. The phytochemical compounds in the fruit are known to possess anti-cancer properties (8).

7. Prevent respiratory issues

Eating apples during pregnancy can lower the risk of developing childhood asthma and allergic diseases. The antioxidants present in apples help strengthen your lungs (9).

8. Aid in digestion

Apples are fiber-rich fruits that help in proper digestion and promote smooth bowel movements (10).

Next, we tell you about the nutritional values of this fruit.

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Nutritional Value Of Apples

100 grams of raw apple (including peel) contains (11):

NUTRIENTAMOUNT
Calories52kcal
Water85.56g
Carbohydrates13.81g
Sugars10.39g
Protein0.26g
Fiber2.4g
Fat0.17g
Vitamins
Thiamin (Vitamin B1)0.017mg
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)0.026mg
Niacin (Vitamin B3)0.091mg
Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)0.041mg
Folic acid (Vitamin B9)3mcg
Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C)4.6mg
Retinol (Vitamin A)54IU
Alpha-tocopherol (Vitamin E)0.18mg
Phylloquinone (Vitamin K)2.2mcg
Electrolytes
Potassium107mg
Sodium1mg
Minerals
Calcium6mg
Iron0.12mg
Phosphorus11mg
Magnesium5mg
Zinc0.04mg
Lipids
Total saturated fatty acids0.028g
Total monounsaturated fatty acids0.007g
Total polyunsaturated fatty acids0.051g

g=grams; mg=milligrams; IU=International Units

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Are Green Apples As Good As Red Apples?

Green apples are as good and healthy as red apples, albeit with a slight variance. They have a thicker peel, are crispier and sour. They are a good source of soluble fiber that helps reduce cholesterol levels, manages weight and regulates blood sugar levels (12).

While eating a reasonable amount of apple is good for both mother and the baby, overindulging in it can be a bad idea.

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Side Effects Of Excess Apple Consumption During Pregnancy

Be mindful of the number of apples in your diet, for overconsumption of the fruit can cause the following complications.

  • Affects metabolism: Overconsumption of apples increases carbohydrate intake, which in turn increases sugar levels, slows down metabolism and prevents your body from burning fat.
  • Weight issues: Consuming too many apples will increase the calorie intake, thus leading to weight management issues later during pregnancy.

The daily recommended dosage of apples for pregnant women is two to four servings a day, of which one serving equals one medium-sized whole apple (13).

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Ways To Include Apples In Your Pregnancy Diet

Eating fresh fruits just as they are can be boring sometimes. So you may try different kinds of mouth-watering apple recipes to keep yourself happy and healthy. Here are a few.

  • Fresh apple juice twice a day will help satisfy your thirst. You might also mix other fruits or vegetables such as a carrot or beetroot to make a mocktail.
  • Combine brown sugar and honey with apples and bake them until tender and golden-brown.
  • Dried apples or crispy apple chips are also good snacking options.
  • Homemade applesauce tastes good with pancakes, yogurt or cottage cheese.
  • Apple tea, which is also an excellent substitute for regular tea, is soothing and refreshing.

Apples are a healthy addition to your diet, beneficial for both the mother-to-be and growingApple during pregnancy baby. If you haven’t started including the fruit in your diet yet, do it right now in whichever form you like. But remember, eating in moderation is always the key.

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If you have any exciting recipes that you have already tried, please share with us in the comments section below.

References:

1. Jane Dimer; Food Choices During Pregnancy; Kaiser Permanente (2014)
2. Diana Lutz; Beware the smell of bitter almonds Why do many food plants contain cyanide; Washington University in St. Louis (2010)
3. Foods Rich In Iron; Grove Medical
4. Kelly Mcgill; The Fruits Of Research: The Truth About Vitamin C And The Common Cold; As Told By Stanford Students (2016)
5. C. Y. Lee & N. L. Smith; Apples: An Important Source of Antioxidants in the American Diet; New York State Horticultural Society (2000)
6. Boosting Your Energy: How To Jump-Start Your Natural Energy And Fight Fatigue; Harvard University (2016)
7. Apples; Nutrition Live (2012)
8. Apples; The President and Fellows of Harvard College (2018)
9. S M Willers et al.; Maternal food consumption during pregnancy and asthma, respiratory and atopic symptoms in 5‐year‐old children; Thorax (2007)
10. Figuring Out Fiber; The University of Nevada (2009)
11. Basic Report; Apples, raw; USDA
12. Baby Granny Smith Apples; Wyoming Department of Education
13. H. Darlene Martin; G92-1088 Pregnancy and Lactation; University of Nebraska – Lincoln (1992)

 

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Rebecca Malachi

She is a Biotechnologist with a proficiency in areas of genetics, immunology, microbiology, bio-engineering, chemical engineering, medicine, pharmaceuticals to name a few. Her expertise in these fields has greatly assisted her in writing medical and life science articles. With 8+ years of work experience in writing for health and wellness, she is now a full-time contributor for Momjunction.com. She is passionate about giving research-based information to readers in need. Apart from writing, she is a foodie, loves travel, fond of gospel music and enjoys observing nature in silence. Know more about her at: linkedin.com/in/kothapalli-rebecca-35881628
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